From Electrical Box; to a Great Solar Cooker
by Cal Griggs
(Laveen, AZ 85339)
My wife and I have been into solar cooking, seriously, for the past four years. In fact we do 80% of our spring, summer and fall cooking with solar energy.
I recently came upon a discarded electrical box with a hinged lid, 16"x16"x8" that was destined for the scrap pile. I asked the shop manager if I could have it and he said, "Yes" and even thanked me for taking it!
I took the box home and disassembled it, cut a hole in the lid for the glass lens, insulated the sides with two layers of 3/8" Masonite and added a couple of coats of BBQ black paint to the inside. I then cut down the interior shelf so a pan would fit on it and it would also pivot to stay level when the cooker was not horizontal.
My wife fabricated four reflectors of heavy duty fiberboard and covered them with 2 mil Mylar. These were fitted to go around the base of the box so they could be adjusted to the angle of the sun for maximum energy.
On our first cooking experience we decided on making corn bread-disaster! The bread cooked much faster than we had planned and we burned it. On our next adventure we cooked some sis-kabobs and they came out wonderful, but of course we watched them this time. Now we are baking cinnamon rolls, roasts, fish, cakes and even turkeys with it. We used the Cookit (panel) cookers before and this electrical box runs circles around them.
We love solar cooking. The only thing you must remember is to check the weather.
Our motto is: Using the sun today for a better tomorrow
Thank you Cal,
Great example and story on how easy it is to take advantage of the sun's energy by using discarded ,yet useful, common items (junk) found anywhere you might look.
Great motivation for other people.
Great photos also.
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